G Sakai International's Kawasaki Special Stag Fixed Blade - Gear Review

Monday, January 17, 2011

For centuries the master blade makers of Japan have crafted some of the most legendary knives and swords ever created.  The invention of Damascus steel and perfecting the samurai sword are just two of the laundry list of accomplishments to their credit.  When I first spoke with G Sakai International, a knife maker from famed Seki City the birthplace of Japanese cutlery, my expectations and excitement rose to unprecedented levels. 


The Kawasaki Special Fixed Blade Stag is a faithful reproduction of an original design by one of Japan's most respected bladesmiths, Akihisa Kawasaki.  That, unfortunately, is where legend and reality start to diverge in a hurry.   The VG-10 blade has a random pattern stamped along the top to try to replicate the look of marks left by an ancient forge press.  The bolster and trim on the sheath are both adorned with similar engraving.  The Stag handle material gives the knife a rustic and classic feel, but is the only authentic piece on the knife.  Sadly, none of the character and soul of the traditional techniques have made it into this production knife.  From materials to workmanship this knife left me wanting more.

For a $240 knife from Seki City, "disappointed" is a massive understatement.

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